Advanced Robotic Systems: The Manufacturing Labor Force of Tomorrow

The automation industry is seeing a shift in its labor force. As many current workers get ready to retire, a younger workforce has yet to arrive to take its place. In response to this shortfall, the advanced robotic market has grown significantly. Advanced robotic systems and collaborative robots are taking center stage at a time when manufacturing industries need them the most. This is a report based off some findings by the Boston Consulting Group and others.


Interstellar Drones

In a recent article on the website, DailyMail, the development of extraterrestrial drones is discussed. On a distant Jupiter moon, Europa, there is believed to be oceans. NASA scientists and engineers are working to develop submersible drones that can gather data and detect microbial life by operating in these icy waters. A major requirement for these drones will be for them to operate autonomously and manage their own resources. Only time will tell if these drones will accomplish the mission NASA hopes for.

Robotics in Healthcare

Bernadette Keefe, a guest blogger for Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation, does a very thorough run through of some of the biggest robotics innovations in health care delivery. The health care industry has many problems it must deal with. There are out of control costs and prices, labor shortages throughout the ranks, a continuous explosion of information and technology, and an increasingly sick and aging population. Robotics and the advances in the field offer a way to manage some of these issues and eliminate others, thereby making the entire health care delivery system more efficient.

Tracking Humans with a Wired Camera Network

Purdue University’s Robot Vision Laboratory has developed a system that can track articulated human motion using multiple cameras without relying on markers or special colored clothing. Getting machines to detect humans and recognize movement and motion is essential if the machine/human interaction process is to advance. Current systems in place to allow machines to detect human movement require markers to be attached to the humans. This is obviously limiting its wide spread application. Therefore, the system developed by the lab could potentially be an exciting step forward in the process.

Using robots to enhance Lean manufacturing staff recently explored the numerous benefits of robots to the lean manufacturing efforts. Robotics capabilities have only increased with time, while costs have continued to fall. Major robot manufacturers are constantly upgrading their robots with increased payload capacity, greater accuracy, increased reach and range of motion, improved speed and acceleration, faster communication with external equipment, better safety features and lower operational costs. With a lower cost, more capabilities and a large number of successful manufacturing implementations, robots can increase return, improve quality, reduce costs and help eliminate waste.


In this post, Nikita Johnson discusses the future of robots in the smart home with an executive at iRobot, exploring the link between our physical and digital lives that robots help to provide. Robots that help with chores for instance, will work to maintain a home both inside and out. They will continue to clean floors, they will maintain the yard, and they will help with other daily tasks. With the development of new technologies, they will also possess new features as well. Also, by leveraging an array of connected devices and sensors, robots will learn usage patterns and preferences to progressively automate the control of devices.


Robots for small business

Bennett Brumson, in an article “Robots For Small Business: A Growing Trend” (, talks about the growing market for and usefulness of robots to small businesses and how robots contribute to lean manufacturing practices. He explores key things for small businesses to consider with some robotics industry experts. Which sectors are robotic applications most commonly used in? What are the benefits to small businesses? What are some problems small businesses are confronted with when deciding to use robotic systems? Are there ways to deal with them? What’s the future for growth in robotics? Which sectors might see the most growth?